Thursday, December 8

Michael Schiavo Fights Back with a PAC

Terri Schiavo's husband starts a PAC devoted to defeating the Bible-thumping politicians who used his comatose wife as a football.

By Michael Scherer

Dec. 07, 2005 | At the height of the battle, Michael Schiavo appeared to be a reluctant cultural warrior. His wife, Terri, lay comatose, in her 15th year of vegetative slumber, connected to a feeding tube, but well beyond resuscitation. Around her hospice, a political hurricane swirled.

In Terri's name, President George Bush interrupted his vacation, Sen. Bill Frist played doctor from the Senate floor, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush launched a flimsy criminal investigation, and Rep. Tom DeLay issued ominous political threats to the judiciary. The religious right had turned Terri into a symbolic beachhead in the battle for a "culture of life," and the Republican Party had answered the call.


But now, as the one-year anniversary of Terri Schiavo's death approaches, Michael Schiavo is changing his approach and preparing to enter the political fray. Terri's fate has already been decided. Now her husband wants to claim her legacy. "For 15 years, I have been watching the politicians working their ways into my case. I felt I needed to do something when this was all said and done," Schiavo told Salon on Tuesday. "I didn't ask for this fight, but now I am ready."

This week Schiavo will roll out a new political action committee, called Terri PAC, with the hope of raising money to defeat the politicians who tried to intervene in the legal battle between Schiavo and Terri's parents, Bob and Mary Schindler. "Whatever I can do, I am going to do," says Schiavo, who works as a nurse in the Pinellas County Jail in Clearwater, Fla. Starting in January, he plans to change his work hours to three 12-hour shifts a week, allowing him more time to work on politics.


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